ARCH-DEACONRY OF SUFFOLK.
MY WORTHY BRETHREN,
The ignorance of Church-wardens as to the duties of their office, which they have been sworn to, making Visitations in a manner ineffectual, and also frequently causing great differences and disturbances at home among their neighbours, through the errors and, mistakes which they run into, about the repairs of Churches, and the levying of rates for the same; I have thought it necessary to draw up these directions for the preventing of the like mischiefs and inconveniencies for the future; and if you will join your endeavours with me so far, as out of this paper every year to inform and instruct your Church-wardens, that they may the better know their duty both in presenting such things as are amiss in your respective parishes, and also in repairing your Churches, I would then hope that sin might be more effectually corrected, and Churches so repaired, that the worship of God might be performed in them with that decency which is fitting, without making this matter a fire-brand of contention among you (as it too often happens) to the wasting of that Christian charity among your people, which it is one of the main duties of your Ministry to support and maintain among them. I pray God bless us all in our endeavours to promote his honour and glory in that holy function which he hath called us to;
And I am,
Your affectionate Brother and Servant,